June 12, 2020 / 8:58 AM / a month ago

Bulgaria steps in to acquire minority stake in Fibank

SOFIA, June 12 (Reuters) - State-owned Bulgarian Development Bank will buy up to 70% of the capital increase by First Investment Bank (Fibank), which is raising funds to cover a capital shortfall found by the European Central Bank last year, the finance minister said on Friday.

The Balkan country’s fifth largest lender is seeking to raise 200 million levs ($116 million) by issuing 40 million new shares.

Fibank’s capital increase is the last criteria the EU’s poorest member state has to fulfil before it can get approval to enter the banking union and the two-year obligatory precursor to the euro zone. Sofia hopes to join both in July.

$1 = 1.7251 leva Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; editing by David Evans

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